Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What A Name


Pie. It is a strange name, even for a Porcupine, but as time has gone by I have grown to not only accept, but even enjoy it. I see the expression on guests faces when I am introduced, thinking how could anyone call their Porcupine Pie, but I am really grateful that I was adopted by John & Judy – imagine if it had been Angelina & Brad, I could have been Maddox Porcupine, Zahara Porcupine or even Shiloh Nouvel Porcupine. That would have sucked for my image out there! No, Pie is good for me.
How did they come up with the name – I have heard this explanation so often that it’s beginning to sound like a broken record (as you get to know John you will realise that he tells a good story, but he sure tells the same one over & over, and he can drag them out for ever – something Judy does point out when allowed to!) Anyway, when they first moved down to Wilderness from Johannesburg a few years ago John had to lay a couple of kilometers of cement strip road in order to offer access to their lodge-to-be. After doing the first strips and being hugely proud of them he was really upset next morning to find a set of footprints paddling up the length he had laid. They weren’t Baboon, Leopard, Lynx, all of which are found in the valley, or even that of domestic dogs – also found in the valley. Fortunately Duimpie (which means little thumb) and Kobus, the two guys who John inherited when they bought the farm, and know everything about the farm, and do everything that needs to be done could enlighten John – Porcupine prints was what they were. John mentioned this to Judy on his return to the house, who immediately exclaimed that’s it - Porcupine Pie!! I had better explain at this time that John & Judy had bought this amazing 26h farm with the intention of building a lodge overlooking the Wilderness National Park. They knew the importance of a name – Misty Mountain, Happy Valley or Sea View just wouldn’t be remembered – they wanted something that would intrigue and be unforgettable, and some singer called Neil Diamond got high on LSD in the 70’s & came out with a weird song called Porcupine Pie – Google it and you will see what I mean.
The lodge was launched & doing fine, & then one day I pitched up on their doorstep. John (who not only tells long stories, but also has no imagination – he was a suit in the ad business which says it all) wanted to call me Spike (yuck) but fortunately some other brainless person has already called their Porcupine Spike, so I got to be named after the Lodge – and as far as we know only one booking has been lost because Porcupine Pie is served at the Lodge!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pie in the Sky

“Pie” is a delightful porcupine – about 5 – 6 months old as far as we can ascertain. Pie was bought to us as an orphaned young porcupine found wandering around, very hungry and very frightened, near a farm in the vicinity of Uniondale, South Africa.
We are unsure if Pie is male or female, and so far nobody has volunteered to find out! For the purposes of this write-up we will assume he is a male!
Because of our Lodge name he was offered to us to care for – for the first month we kept him warm and dark in our spare bedroom, but as he grew and became stronger and more adventurous we moved him to an enclosure in the garden where he can play and dig to his hearts content.
Our aim is to keep him in the enclosure until he is old enough to fend for himself. At that stage we will take part of the fence away, and let him come and go as he likes. Hopefully the Sweetcorn and ProNutro – which are his two favorite foods – will be enough to keep him coming back to visit at feeding time!